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Lac St-Jean - Episode 3 - Love grown old

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

A bright sun welcomes my awakening. Around 9:00 am, I have an appointment with Guillaume, my mechanic, but first of all, breakfast on the terrace of the Auberge du Lac.

When I arrived at the garage, Guillaume still couldn't believe the nail he pulled from my tire.

A beautiful 2 ½ inch twist nail. How this one managed to fit into the rubber casing... remains a mystery. The hole is not very clear. It took two plugs to caulk and the job isn't perfect. Guillaume explains the risks to me, but also the chances that I will get home safely. I decide to go back to Quebec while regularly monitoring the pressure.

Crossing the Fjord between Tadoussac and Baie Sainte-Catherine is always pleasant and impressive. The road passes quietly. True to my habits, I make a few hooks while driving towards Quebec.

This route was my first long solo hike... in my life. The one that gave me the shot. First loves never end.

I cross Port-au-Persil, which is part of the association of the most beautiful villages of Quebec, and I then take route 362 which brings me to the beach of St-Irénée.

I take this opportunity to eat before continuing my journey. At Léon et Lilly, a convenience and artisanal biscuit store, I get myself a still warm baguette, finely sliced smoked duck breast, cheese from the Charlevoix dairy and an IPA.

I savor it all, comfortably seated on the beach, watching the children explore the treasures that appear at low tide.

I continue towards Baie St-Paul and take a few moments to admire the impressive fresco that runs along the Rivière du Gouffre.

The pressure is holding up in my tire. I have the impression that I will get to Quebec without problems. When arriving at Château Richer, the traffic on Boulevard Ste-Anne is heavy, very heavy. I therefore follow the route of the first road practiced along the St. Lawrence River, the Chemin du Roy, which linked St-Joachim to Montreal during the era of the new France.

Royal Avenue is very pleasant. Shaded, slow, and with lots of very interesting architectural details such as the tiny Gravel Chapel. This processional chapel where the faithful gathered to pray and sing hymns to the virgin.

Then I see a road cross. These crosses were the symbol of a community's act of faith and they are an integral part of our history.

Hobbit Houses, also known as Root Cellars, are a testament to ancient rural food preservation practices that still impress me. Such a simple technique for a result which proves to be superior to the best refrigerators. Perfect humidity level, different temperature zones, ... The insulating properties of the earth made it possible to protect the foodstuffs stored in the cellar from the cold in winter and from the heat in summer. They were even sometimes used as a dairy in summer. The vault made it possible to eat vegetables and fruits throughout the winter.

Reggae musicians made from straw bales greet me before I return to Boulevard Ste-Anne.

My city is beautiful. It is one of the gems of the province and I am always happy to come back.

The next day I contacted my charming mechanic, Christian Barbeau. I like going to his place. He is always good advice and I feel confident. Except, no availability before the beginning of August. Let's see, that is not possible. Not riding for three weeks.

He understood my dismay and referred me to SM Sport who had room... in mid-August. It's getting worse. I'm having heart palpitations, I'm already having withdrawal symptoms. SM Sport refer me to Unlimited Vehicles.

When I get to this garage, I am sweating, I am restless, anxious. I offer my best smile to the owner and explain my concern to him. He digs through the twists and turns of his computer and, miracle, he can help me. He will order the tires and install them within 10 days. I'm sure I'll be able to survive by then...

Finally, it's four days later that the tires are installed. I also had the front tire changed. I will be shod with new.

In the end, it was the best puncture ever. I had great weather, great mechanics and a whole new experience to credit for. I'm already planning my next adventure. I will go to Saguenay by taking routes 381 and 170 that have been so much vaunted to me.

See you soon...

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